Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm Back!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.  I have begun to use my right arm, and can now type with both hands, so I'll be posting a bit more frequently when I have time.  My sling comes off a week from today and then I'll begin Physical Therapy which I've heard is worse than the fracture---oh well.

Today, with the help of the amazing staff at Great News I taught my first Farmer's Market bag class of the year,  and it was so much fun!  The bag this week is full of really great veggies to start the new year off right, and I hope you'll try some of these dishes if you bought the bag, or if you are looking for a few more ideas for weekend/weeknight dinners.

From left to right:  Valencia Orange, bunch carrots, rainbow chard, green gem lettuce, heirloom potato mix, rapini, sunshine squash, red torpedo onions, and black radishes.

Black radishes are strong in flavor, use them in salads, sliced, or dip them into olive oil with salt and pepper.  Another way to use them is to preserve them in vinegar, and then use as you would horseradish in cocktail sauce, or horseradish sauce for beef.

Preserved Black Radishes

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

One bunch black radishes
Distilled White Vinegar
Glass jar for storage

Peel the radishes, removing the black outer covering.  Shred the radishes on a box grater or in the food processor.  Pack into the glass jar, and cover with vinegar.  Seal tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 months.
Use the horseradish to make cocktail sauce or horseradish sauce for roast beef.

Horseradish Sauce

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

1 3/4 cups crème fraiche
1/3 cup prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  1. In a medium-size bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until blended.
  2.  Do-Ahead: At this point, you can cover and refrigerate for up to a week. Serve cold.

Rapini and chard are such great vegetables to include in your diet, and they are so easy to cook.  This next recipe is a go to recipe for a great weeknight dinner and you can use either the rapini or chard for it.

Sausage, Rapini and Linguine with Lemon Zest
Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds sweet Italian Sausage, removed from the casing
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (if needed)
One bunch rapini, broccoli rabe, or rainbow chard, stems removed, and thinly slice the chard, leave rapini or broccoli rabe whole with stems trimmed

One pound linguine, boiled 2 minutes short of al dente, saving some of the pasta water
 Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

  1. In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium high heat, breaking up any large chunks, and cooking until the sausage is no longer pink.  
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and saute another minute, if there is very little fat in the pan, add the oil, if there is about 2 tablespoons of fat, there is no need to add the oil.  
  3. Add the rapini, and cook turning until the rapini is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the pasta to the pan, and turn the pasta to coat with the sauce. 
  5. Add the lemon zest, pepper, and a tablespoon or two of pasta water if the sauce appears to be dry.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of the cheese, and stir until melted.  Serve the pasta garnished with additional cheese. 

Baked Sunshine Squash
Serves 4 to 6

One sunshine squash (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with a silicone baking liner and set aside.  Split the squash in half, and remove the seeds.  
  2. Drizzle a bit of oil over each half, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  3. Bake the squash for 45 to 55 minutes, until the sharp tip of a knife inserted into the thickest part, goes in without any resistance.  
  4. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  
  5. At this point, it is simple to scoop out the flesh and leave the peel.  The flesh can be mashed or it can be cut into cubes and served as a side dish.  (sage is a great flavor booster to add to the cubed squash)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I'll try and get back here again with some tips to start the new year off well.

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